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Gustav Mahler

Biography

Born: July 7, 1860; Czech Republic   Died: May 18, 1911; Austria   Period: Romantic
"Imagine the universe beginning to sing and resound," Mahler wrote of his Symphony No. 8, the "Symphony of a Thousand." "It is no longer human voices; it is planets and suns revolving." Mahler was late Romantic music's ultimate big thinker. In his own lifetime he was generally regarded as a conductor who composed on the side, producing huge, bizarre symphonies accepted only by a cult following.
Born in 1860, in Kalischt, Bohemia, he came
Read more from a middle-class family. He entered the Vienna Conservatory in 1875, studying piano, harmony, and composition in a musically conservative atmosphere. Nevertheless, he became a supporter of Wagner and Bruckner, both of whose works he would later conduct frequently, and became part of a social circle interested in socialism, Nietzschean philosophy, and pan-Germanism. Around 1880, he began conducting and wrote his first mature work, Das klagende Lied. Mahler's conducting career advanced rapidly, moving him from Kassel to Prague to Leipzig to Budapest; he was usually either greatly respected or thoroughly despised by the performers for his exacting rehearsals and perfectionism. In 1897 he became music director of the Vienna Court Opera and then, a year later, of the Vienna Philharmonic. Mahler's conducting career permitted composition only during the summers, in a series of "composing huts" he had built in picturesque rural locations. He completed his first symphony in 1888, but it met with utter audience incomprehension. He reserved this time for symphonies, all of them large-scale works, and song cycles. In Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), he merged the two forms into an immense song-symphony. The Viennese public largely failed to understand his music, but Mahler took their reactions calmly, accurately predicting that "My time will yet come." Meanwhile, his autocratic ways as a conductor alienated musicians. In 1901, the press and the musicians essentially forced his resignation from the Philharmonic. He married a young composition student, Alma Schindler in 1902, and they soon had two daughters. By 1907 Mahler was increasingly away from Vienna, conducting his own works, and thus he resigned from the opera as well. Just after accepting the position of principal conductor of New York's Metropolitan Opera, but before leaving Vienna, Mahler's older daughter, age 4, died from scarlet fever and diphtheria, and he learned he himself had a defective heart valve. In New York, he was impressed by the caliber of talent and quickly gained audience approval. In 1909 he became conductor of the New York Philharmonic, which he found much more agreeable than the opera work by this time. The following year, he had a triumphant premiere of his massive Symphony No. 8 in Munich. Despite the professional successes, his personal life suffered another blow when his and Alma's marriage began having problems. They stayed together, and after he became ill in February 1911, she saw to it that he made it back to Vienna, where he died on May 18.
The conductors Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer, Willem Mengelberg, and Maurice Abravanel kept Mahler's legacy alive, and Mahler's are now among the most recorded of any symphonies. His frequent incorporation of vocal elements into symphonic writing brought to full fruition a process that had begun with Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, demonstrating his music's firm roots in the Germanic classical tradition. However, it was his huge tapestries of shifting moods and tones, ranging from tragedy to bitter irony (often explicitly indicated in performance directions), from café music to evocations of the sublime, that portended a century in which multiplicity ruled. Read less
Mahler: Symphony No 7 / Dudamel, Simon Bolivar SO
Release Date: 10/07/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002155002   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Chailly, Leipzig Gewandhaus
Release Date: 05/27/2014   Label: Accentus  
Catalog: 20284   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 9 / Chailly, Gewandhaus Orchestra
Release Date: 09/30/2014   Label: Accentus  
Catalog: 20299   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 9 / Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Release Date: 01/25/2011   Label: Accentus  
Catalog: 20214   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 4 / Chailly, Gewandhaus-Orchester
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Accentus  
Catalog: 20257   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Browse 1-25 of 107 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Originals - Legendary Recordings from DG
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002171502 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    On sale! $159.98
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  • 2.
    Alma & Gustav Mahler: Lieder / Karen Cargill, Simon Lepper
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 453 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alma Mahler,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Karen Cargill,  Simon Lepper
    SuperAudio CD: $22.49
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  • 3.
    Dreams / Dagmar Peckova, Jiri Belohlavek, Prague Philharmonia
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4171 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms,  Luciano Berio
    Performer:  Dagmar Pecková
    Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonia,  Prague Philharmonic Choir
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  • 4.
    Fritz Reiner Conducts Richard Strauss - The Complete RCA & Columbia Recordings
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 379055 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Inge Borkh,  Francis Yeend  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Lyric Theatre Chorus,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 5.
    Mahler: Lieder / Bernarda Fink
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 902173 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Bernarda Fink,  Anthony Spiri
    Conductor:  Andres Orozco-Estrada
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gustav Mahler Ensemble,  Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra
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  • 6.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 2
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300350 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Byron Janis,  Gary Graffman,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Krips,  Fritz Reiner,  Pierre Monteux,  Charles Munch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $125.98
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  • 7.
    Invitation Au Voyage
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 1951875 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gustav Mahler,  Ildebrando Pizzetti,  Henri Duparc
    Performer:  Fritz Schwinghammer,  Dietrich Henschel
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  • 8.
    Zemlinsky, Mahler, Schreker: Lieder
    Label: Kmi   Catalog: 71115 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Alexander v. Zemlinsky,  Franz Schreker
    Performer:  Anna Holroyd
    Conductor:  Amaury Du Closel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Versailles Camerata,  Ensemble Voix Étouffées
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  • 9.
    Boulez Conducts Mahler - Complete Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001931702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Johan Botha,  Dorothea Röschmann,  Anna Larsson,  Christian Gerhaher  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Mahler, Rihm: Orchestral Songs
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777675 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Wolfgang Rihm
    Performer:  Christoph Prégardien
    Conductor:  Steven Sloane
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  • 11.
    Mahler: Orchestral Songs / Gerhaher, Nagano, Montreal Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 370133 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Christian Gerhaher
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Mahler: Urlicht / Janina Baechle, Markus Hadulla
    Label: Marsyas   Catalog: 1809 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Janina Baechle,  Markus Hadulla
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  • 13.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22320 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  George London,  Hermann Schey,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
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  • 14.
    Bruno Walter - The Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548952 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Hendl,  John Corigliano Sr.,  Leonard Rose,  Martha Lipton  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 15.
    Dame Janet Baker - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 37712 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Claudio Monteverdi,  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Henry Lawes  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Kenneth Heath,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard,  Sir John Barbirolli,  André Previn,  Sir Alexander Gibson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $102.98
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  • 16.
    Mahler Songs / Eilana Lappalainen, Robert Miller
    Label: Elysium   Catalog: 728 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Eilana Lappalainen,  Robert Miller
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  • 17.
    Wilhelm Furtwangler: Wiener Konzerte 1944-1954 [18-CD Set]
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 834118 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  César Franck,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Badura-Skoda,  Dagmar Bella,  Paul Schöffler,  Anton Dermota  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singakademie,  Vienna Boys' Choir
    Recommendation
    CD: $118.99
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  • 18.
    Icon - Brigitte Fassbaender [8-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 829682 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert,  Hugo Wolf,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Karl Engel,  Erik Werba,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Baumgart,  Lawrence Foster,  Jeffrey Tate,  Wolfgang Eber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Bavariae,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $59.98
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  • 19.
    Faure, Strauss, Mahler, Copland, Ives, Canteloube: Lieder / Von Stade, Katz
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 870121 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Mahler,  Aaron Copland  ... 
    Performer:  Frederica Von Stade,  Martin Katz
    CD: $22.49
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  • 20.
    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Voice Of The Century [23 CDs & 2 DVDs]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001792900 Release Date: 01/15/2013   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Daniel Barenboim,  Jörg Demus,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik,  Karl Böhm,  Lorin Maazel,  Karl Richter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $133.99
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  • 21.
    Gary Bertini Conducts Strauss, Mahler, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 7136 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Håkan Hagegård,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Elisabeth Leonskaja
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 22.
    Mahler: Symphony No 1, Lieder Eines Farhenden Gesellen / Masur, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 2564659420 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Håkan Hagegård
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    CD: $8.99
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  • 23.
    Mahler: Totenfeier, Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen / Connolly, Jurowski
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 259 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Sarah Connolly
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
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  • 24.
    Bruno Walter Conducts Mahler
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 920102 Release Date: 08/07/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Emilia Cundari,  Maureen Forrester,  Mildred Miller,  Desi Halban  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Westminster Choir,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 25.
    Das Mahler Album / Wolfgang Holzmair, Russell Ryan
    Label: Nightingale Classics   Catalog: 1011 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair,  Russell Ryan
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